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Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

Cliff Swallows (1 Viewer)


United States
I was always wondering how people shoot swallows in flight. It turned out not that hard if you have a bunch of swallows :)
Just pick any swallow from far away and start tracking. Press the shutter when it's close enough. I tried both 600mm and 400mm lenses, and the 400mm makes the job much, much easier due to a wider FoV. A red-dot reflex sight may help to deal with a longer lens but not for swallows because of their fast/erratic nature. Shutter speed of 1/6400s works fine, and if light is good I'd go with 1/8000s. All high ISO noise can be later removed in post.
After a few hours of shooting my back started hurting and I decided to put my camera on a tripod + gimbal, and my success rate dropped to zero.
These creatures are fast and I think the only efficient way to track them is to handheld your camera.

Sycamore Creek Recreation Area, Ashland City, Tennessee


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United States
Beautiful photos! Not sure if I would get any photos, even hand-holding the camera...
Thank you sir! As I mentioned the main trick is to find a bunch of swallows. The Cliff Swallows live in colonies, so that pretty much solves the problem. You simply can't miss here :)


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